Nuvaring has been marketed as a safe and effective birth control method that’s easier to use than the pill. But for certain patients, Nuvaring can be deadly. Nuvaring is known to cause heart attacks, blood clots and strokes, needlessly cutting healthy young women’s’ lives short. If you have a loved one who had a heart attack or blood clot while using Nuvaring – or if this happened to you personally – we would like to speak with you.
Our law office, John Foy and Associates, has a longstanding commitment to helping people who have been injured by dangerous drugs. If you or your loved one was injured or killed by Nuvaring, we can pursue getting you money for what happened. Let us give you a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your choices. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is Nuvaring?
Nuvaring is a contraceptive that has been on the market since 2001. It is manufactured by Merck & Co. Unlike oral contraceptives that must be taken every day, Nuvaring is a small, flexible ring that is placed in the vagina once a month. Nuvaring is marketed as being more convenient than, and just as effective as, the pill.
How does Nuvaring work?
Like many oral contraceptives, Nuvaring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. After it has been inserted, Nuvaring begins releasing an ongoing dose of these hormones. Nuvaring works on a four-week cycle – users leave it in for three weeks, then remove it for a week. Then, users insert a new Nuvaring and begin the next cycle. Merck claims that when used properly, Nuvaring is 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Unfortunately, that’s not all it does.
What are the risks of Nuvaring?
Nuvaring is known as a “third generation” contraceptive because it contains the progestin desogestrel. It delivers this hormone in a relatively high dose, and studies have linked third generation contraceptives to a greater risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and other serious heart problems compared to older contraceptives.
A 2012 study found that women who use Nuvaring may be 6.5 times more likely to develop venous thrombosis than women who took no birth control at all. When compared to women taking older birth control pills, they were twice as likely to develop this serious and potentially deadly complication.
Other studies have placed the increased risk of serious heart complications anywhere from 90 percent to 56 percent. The Food and Drug Administration imposed greater warning requirements on Nuvaring in 2013, but Nuvaring continues to be marketed and sold to millions of unsuspecting young women.
What kinds of heart problems are associated with Nuvaring?
Because Nuvaring is a contraceptive, its users are typically young, healthy women with no history of heart disease. But Nuvaring has been linked to development of deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot in a vein deep in the body, usually in the legs. Sometimes, deep vein thrombosis is painful and causes swelling, redness, or a warm feeling, but other times it has no symptoms at all.
Deep vein thrombosis is dangerous – and potentially deadly – because these blood clots can suddenly break free and travel through your bloodstream and into your lungs. When blood clots lodge in the lungs and block blood from flowing, this is known as a pulmonary embolism. If the clot is small, it can cause lung damage. Larger clots can be fatal.
Nuvaring is also associated with heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction. Heart attacks happen when something – such as a blood clot – blocks the flow of oxygen to the heart. Without oxygen, heart cells begin to die, and the patient suffers a heart attack. Some heart attacks are fatal, and others cause damage to the heart muscle, lessening its ability to pump blood.
Blood clots can also cause strokes. Strokes can happen when blood clots travel into the brain, cutting off blood flow to part of the brain. Without blood and the oxygen it provides, the brain cells die. Strokes can lead to brain damage, severe disabilities and death.
Who is at greatest risk?
Anyone who uses Nuvaring is potentially at risk, but the risks are greater for some people than others. A greater risk is associated with:
- High blood pressure
- Being over 35
- Being overweight
But Nuvaring has also caused blood clots in women with none of these risk factors.
Does Merck know about the dangers of Nuvaring?
There is no question that the drug manufacturer, Merck, is fully aware of the dangers of Nuvaring. In fact, Merck paid out $100 million in 2015 to settle 3800 lawsuits that alleged that Merck knew about the heightened risk of blood clots but didn’t warn consumers. There has been extensive press coverage of the dangers of Nuvaring and the tragic stories of its victims. After studies were published establishing a link between Nuvaring and blood clots, the Food and Drug Administration required Nuvaring to include a warning that some studies have found that Nuvaring may pose a higher risk of blood clots that some other contraceptives.
Merck is well aware of the grave risks posed by Nuvaring, but it has chosen to place profits ahead of the lives and futures of the young women who use Nuvaring believing it is safe. When a manufacturer doesn’t make its drugs safe, hides the truth, or fails to warn of dangers, the manufacturer can and should be held liable.
Talk to a Nuvaring Birth Control Lawsuit Lawyer
If you have developed blood clots or had a heart attack of stroke after using Nuvaring – or if you have tragically lost a loved one – we can help you pursue a financial recovery for your loss. Money can never bring back a life, but it can pay for treatment and provide a sense of justice. Our lawyers have more than two decades of experience, and we always put you first – never charging a fee unless we win you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.